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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Christine Ward

I am a passionate, energetic and curious person who seeks out opportunities to expand my opinions and improve my understanding. As an anthropology student, I am always asking “why do humans do the things they do” and am constantly searching for the various answers to this question. I commit myself to try and make the world a better place everyday, and am keen to learn how I can do that more successfully with the intelligent group of individuals that forms the Ivey Sustainability Certificate candidates

Additional Information

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

To me, sustainability is a balancing of factors that decision makers need to consider in order to run successful organizations for the long term. By choosing to contribute positively to external factors, such as environmental or social initiatives, leaders can generate an impact that will improve lives globally. By committing themselves to a set of values, these leaders can generate change and drive conversations that can impact the communities and industries they are a part of. My definition of sustainability is choosing to create this balance, and when leaders accept the challenge to do so, they exercise sustainability.

What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?

I see sustainability playing a similar role in my professional career as the one it has played in my personal life since I was very young, but on a larger scale. Actively practicing sustainability has always been a part of life for me. I started involving myself from a young age with organizations like heart to hand and Hope for Children, always making time in my schedule to help others. I see this evolving to encouraging others within my organization to give back to the community in the ways I do. The Deloitte Impact Day are examples of programs I would hope to create within my organization.

Further, I have considered recently the option of gaining valuable skills through working with or for a non-profit. My commitment to sustainability has grown throughout my time at university, as I recognized the need for change within my own generation. Realities that were only warnings for our parents present the future leaders of my generation with an unprecedented need to alter our behaviours. As someone who hopes to be a leader in the organization I work for, I see sustainability as an important driving force that will impact each decision I make.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in? 

Throughout elementary, middle and high school I was involved in various sustainability projects, such as Heart to Hand, Hope for Children, and Out of the Cold. Heart to Hand is an organization that works to provide families with food and gifts around the holiday season. My mother and I organized the Heart to Hand initiatives for my elementary school when I was in grade six, and brought Christmas to over 25 families through donations. I was involved with Hope for Children in a variety of ways throughout my life, assisting with various activities for the children. Out of the Cold is an organization of volunteers that welcomes the communities homeless inside in the winter for a hot meal and warm bed. I volunteered weekly with Out of the Cold, serving meals and conversing with the patrons. 

In university, I have found it difficult to get involved with the community, being from Toronto and not knowing the organizations in London. For this reason, I have mostly participated in sustainability projects on campus. I was a charity orientation leader this past summer, and found many connections through that to help get involved in London.